Roseanne season 6 episodes

Like many good husbands, John Goodman knows when not to air his wife’s dirty laundry in public.

The veteran actor and Roseanne Barr’s TV husband broke his silence on Barr’s racist Twitter fiasco, gingerly broaching the subject that led to his hit ABC TV show getting canceled on Tuesday.

“It’s not that I disrespect you guys. I would rather say nothing than to cause more trouble,” Goodman, 65, politely told an “Entertainment Tonight” videographer who caught up with him Wednesday.

Goodman, 65, plays Dan Conner, the working-class dad on “Roseanne,” a character he first made famous in 1988 and revisited earlier this year when the show was rebooted by ABC.

Barr came under fire shortly after she posted an offensive tweet early Tuesday morning targeting Valerie Jarrett, a former top adviser in the administration of President Barack Obama. In the tweet, Barr wrote that Jarrett, an African-American born in Iran, was the product of the Muslim Brotherhood and “Planet of the Apes.”

She later apologized for the “stupid tweet” but it was too late. Channing Dungey, the president of ABC Entertainment, issued a statement Tuesday calling Barr’s tweet “abhorrent, repugnant” and announced the show “Roseanne” — which the network had picked up for a second season — was being canceled.

“I don’t know anything about it,” Goodman said when asked what his response was to the fallout. “I don’t read it.”

When asked how he was doing, Goodman said, “Everything’s fine.”

Goodman also said he was not expecting to receive an Emmy for his reprisal of the Dan Conner role.

“I wasn’t gonna get an Emmy anyway,” he said when asked if he thought the Barr controversy would cost him the award. “I’ve been up there 12 times already and if I don’t get one by now, I’m not gonna get one.”

Other members of the “Roseanne” cast haven’t been as circumspect as Goodman.

Actress Sara Gilbert, who played Barr’s daughter on the show, condemned Barr’s tweet. “Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show,” she tweeted.

Michael Fishman, who has played son D.J. Conner on the series, also took to Twitter, writing, “While I am going to miss being part of the ABC family, I believe that to sit back or remain silent in an attempt to distance myself from the actions/statements of others would unintentionally endorse or placate those statements which I find truly offensive. In this moment it is important to be clear. We must stand-up against; bias, hatred, bigotry and ignorance to make society a better place for all.”

Responding to Fishman’s statement on Wednesday, Barr tweeted, “I created the platform for that inclusivity and you know it. ME. You throw me under the bus. Nice!”

Barr, however, was much nicer to Goodman and actress Laurie Metcalf, who played her sister on the show.

“I just wish ABC had not thrown two of the greatest actors in the world out with me-Laurie and John,” Barr tweeted Wednesday night. “I’m so sick over this-they will never have better character actors on their network.”

Sara Gilbert, John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf Speak Out About Roseanne Barr’s Racist Tweet

Sara Gilbert, John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf spoke out about the end of Roseanne in a new cover story interview with People, published Wednesday.

The trio opened up together for the first time about the fallout from Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett and Barr’s subsequent firing by ABC. According to the actors, they are thankful that the scandal led to their new spinoff series, The Conners.

“There was the feeling of not wanting it to go away until we were ready,” Goodman told the magazine. “There was a debt owed to this fictional family. We want to finish telling this story.”

Goodman, who spent years playing Barr’s onscreen husband Dan Conner, went on to recall the first time he heard about his TV wife’s since-deleted, offensive tweet — in which she likened Jarrett to the offspring of the “Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes.”

” in my kitchen and maybe my daughter or my wife told me,” he said. “It just didn’t seem true. Then it got true. I was consciously trying to accept it.”

Gilbert said she made an attempt to compartmentalize the news: “I don’t remember too much. It was more just, ‘OK, what are we dealing with today?'” she explained. “I was just kind of taking things one step at a time as they came.”

After Roseanne was canceled, Goodman said he clung to “the hope of resurrecting it.” Of the rebooted ABC series, which scored impressive ratings for the network, he elaborated, “It was so unbelievable to do this show and it was like easy come, easy go.”

Added Metcalf: “And you know, coming off such a high, it was hard to wrap our heads around.”

Metcalf revealed that although the cast was hopeful about a spinoff, they were initially hesitant. “There was a lot of risk involved,” she said. “But we all decided as a group to take the risk, knowing that we could be judged by deciding to come back.”

As has been previously reported, ABC would not consider any sort of Roseanne spinoff if it meant that Barr would receive any financial compensation. Once Barr agreed, The Conners was able to move forward — which helped hundreds of below-the-line employees keep their jobs after they were blindsided by the network’s decision to cancel the show following its star’s online controversy.

“That was a very big deal,” Goodman told People of Barr allowing The Conners to proceed. “To give us a chance.”

Barr’s character, Roseanne Conner, reportedly will be killed off and season one of the spinoff will center around the Conners coming to terms with her absence.

“Any sadness that we feel over what we’ve lost we’re hopefully channeling in an honest way into the show,” said Gilbert. “And our show has always been able to deal with heavy topics, particularly for a sitcom. It’s been kind of built into the mix.”

Goodman, Gilbert and Metcalf’s interview comes more than a month after Goodman teased Barr’s character’s fate in a profile with the U.K.s Times. “I guess he’ll be mopey and sad,” Goodman said of his character’s upcoming storyline, “because his wife’s dead.”

The Conners is set to premiere Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Daniel “Dan” Conner is the husband of the late Roseanne Conner and the father of Becky, Darlene, D.J., and Jerry Conner. He is the deuteragonist of the original series, and the main protagonist of the spin-off. The part of Dan is played by actor John Goodman.

PersonalityEdit

Dan Conner is portrayed as an easygoing, loving family man. He tries not to argue with his wife Roseanne often to decrease arguing conflict in his family.

He is definitely a lot easier to get along with than Roseanne and acts like a realistic and normal working class father.

Compared to Roseanne, Dan is typically much more laid-back and easy to get along with, and generally lets Roseanne run things. But when he gets angry, everyone listens, Roseanne included (though she can talk him down sometimes).

In one episode, Dan showed concern or worry when Jackie mentions that his one son, D.J, could be gay. 21 years later, he is a lot more accepting with his grandson Mark Conner Healy homosexuality and his habits of dressing in women’s clothing and showing a more feminine side.

About Dan ConnerEdit

In the episode “Heart & Soul” in Season 8, Roseanne said that she had been with Dan since she was sixteen years old. According to the episode “PMS, I Love You”, from Season 3 his birthday falls on the same day as the Illinois vs. Michigan game. In the same episode it makes it clear that Dan is turning 39. Given that season three takes place in 1990, Dan’s birthday is November 10th, 1951. He is the son of Audrey and Ed Conner, and also the grandfather to Harris Healy and Mark Conner Healy, Darlene and her husband David’s children. He is a funny, nice, and easygoing family man, and is shown in some episodes having a small temper. But overall, Crystal, in one episode, describes him as a huge teddy bear. He is a moderately successful drywall worker, and a freelance contractor. Occasionally running into tough times when the construction work slows down, most likely due to the fact that he finds most jobs through Dwight’s hardware store, or his lumber yard connections.

In season 3, his longtime friend Ziggy suggested that they begin a bike business. Unfortunately the bike shop, after about a year and a half, financially failed and was sold. Dan was crushed by this and he suffered another blow almost immediately afterwards. At the beginning of Season 5 Becky, convinced that she was losing everything that mattered to her because of her parents’ financial carelessness, ran away and eloped with Mark at age 17. Dan refused to even communicate with Becky for most of Season 5 and became increasingly restrictive and paranoid of Darlene as she and David drew closer; however, he was much more open to the idea of her going to art school in Chicago than Roseanne was.

At Darlene’s wedding to David in season 8, he had a heart attack, which showed his terrible health, which had been declining over the seasons. He is the father-in-law to Mark and David Healy. At first he did not really care for Mark, but over the seasons, they bonded.

David and Dan had a rough patch when David lied about living with Darlene- which resulted in Dan manhandling him and kicking him out of the house- but Dan came to forgive him overtime when Roseanne pointed out that Dan was placing the blame entirely on David and ignoring that Darlene had been equally responsible. Although Dan increasingly became exasperated with David’s seeming over-sensitivity after he broke up with Darlene and often teased him about his less masculine and artistic interests, he was pleased with David’s contributions to the household and congratulated him sincerely on graduating high school. They had another brief spat late in Season 8 when Dan learned Darlene was pregnant and planning to marry David, but Dan quickly reconciled with his newest son-in-law.

It was revealed at the end of Season 9 that Dan had in fact passed away from the heart attack that happened at Darlene and David’s wedding. However, later in Season 10 this is mentioned as being a part of a book that Roseanne was writing and he did not actually die.

However, in an bizarre twist of fate, Dan himself is widowed following the death of Roseanne after she goes into cardiac arrest through an overdose on opioid drugs. This unforeseen tragedy leavrd Dan heartbroken and embittered, slowly but surely though, he begins to heal and move on with his life. He finds a potential new romance in an old friend but he later reveals that he isn’t quite ready to date again.

List of AppearancesEdit

Roseanne (TV series)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 #
Season 1 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 23
Season 2 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 24
Season 3 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 25
Season 4 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 25
Season 5 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 25
Season 6 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 25
Season 7 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 26
Season 8 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 25
Season 9 X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 12
Season 10 X X X X X X X X X N/A 9
Total 219

The Conners
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 #
Season 1 X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 11
Season 2 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 19
Total 30

“Roseanne” fans everywhere rejoiced when ABC announced recently that the groundbreaking sitcom would return in 2018 for an eight-episode reunion with all of the original cast members intact. As we anxiously await the Conner family’s return, above that lists the best 25 “Roseanne” episodes of all time. Did your favorites make the list?

Airing on ABC from 1988 to 1997, “Roseanne” starred Roseanne Barr and John Goodman as Roseanne and Dan Conner, a blue collar family from fictional Lanford, Illinois, struggling to make ends meet while raising children Becky (Lecy Goranson, played in later seasons by Sarah Chalke), Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and DJ (Michael Fishman). Recent Tony winner Laurie Metcalf also starred as Roseanne’s sister Jackie. ABC has announced that the entire cast will return for the revival, including Chalke, who will appear in a different role.

A number of prominent writers and producers spent time on the writing staff of “Roseanne,” including Joss Whedon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Amy Sherman-Palladino (“Gilmore Girls”), Danny Jacobson (“Mad About You”), Chuck Lorre (“The Big Bang Theory”) and Norm MacDonald (“Saturday Night Live”). The series regularly addressed issues such as unemployment, child abuse, domestic violence, homosexuality, and birth control in a time when many shows would not dare to tackle such topics.

“Roseanne” finished in the Top 10 of the ratings in its first seven seasons, with its second season tying for number one with NBC’s Thursday night juggernaut, “The Cosby Show.” However, despite earning three consecutive Comedy Supporting Actress Emmys for Metcalf (1992, 1993, 1994) and a Comedy Actress victory for Barr (1993), the series never received a single nomination for Best Comedy Series. The upcoming revival could finally give Emmy voters a chance to right that egregious wrong.

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With so many new series popping up on streaming services and DVD every day, it gets harder and harder to keep up with new shows, much less the all-time classics. With TV Club 10, we point you toward the 10 episodes that best represent a TV series, classic or modern. If you watch those 10, you’ll have a better idea of what that series was about, without having to watch the whole thing. These are not meant to be the 10 best episodes, but rather the 10 most representative episodes.

Roseanne shouldn’t have worked. When it debuted in 1988, the family-sitcom landscape was dominated by the middle-to-upper class—your Cosbys, your Seavers, your Micelli-Bowers. (Although a change was brewing on the then-nascent Fox network in the form of Married With Children and some shorts on The Tracey Ullman show starring a certain yellow-skinned clan of weirdos.) Furthermore, it centered on a brash, opinionated woman with a grating voice and a body type that was unusual for television, then and now. And, most significantly, Roseanne was plagued by creative squabbling from the word “go,” as star Roseanne Barr clashed with creator—or co-creator, depending on whose side you take—Matt Williams over who received credit for the series, which was conceived with Barr’s working-class, “domestic goddess” standup routine in mind, though she only received a “based upon a character by” credit. (Williams and the show’s producers maintain this was due to Writers Guild regulations.) Over time, more and more stories emerged of Barr battling with an ever-changing stable of writers—whom she reportedly assigned numbers, rather than referring to them by name—and ABC executives over the direction of the series that shared her name, which she dictated and protected with a fervor and impudence that informs the reputations of both the series and its star to this day. By all rights, Roseanne should have imploded in its first season.

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But the show was a hit out of the gate, reaching No. 2 in the ratings in its première season, hitting No. 1 in its second, and never falling out of the top 10 in the first seven of its nine seasons. Roseanne’s success further emboldened Barr and her writers (whose ranks included Joss Whedon and Amy Sherman-Palladino, among other notables), who used the Conner family to tell the sorts of stories that weren’t often being told on sitcoms, at least not in the ’80s. In addition to storylines informed by Barr’s feminist stance and facilitated by a cast with two teenage girls—featuring issues like birth control, menstruation, PMS, and teenage sex—the show was and remains one of very few successful sitcoms to engage, routinely and enthusiastically, with the struggles of the working class. Because of its propensity, particularly later in the series, for memorable, issue-driven episodes, Roseanne is often remembered most for its aggressive promotion of its star’s pet concerns (which were never particularly consistent), but informing all of that were the twin pillars of Roseanne, the two major concerns that dictated everything the Conners did: family and money.

Based in the fictional factory town of Lanford, Illinois, Roseanne concerns a nuclear family rotating around the titular force of nature at its center. While Barr is undeniably the loudly beating heart of the show—so much so that producers’ efforts to remove her when she became problematic proved futile—the rest of the Conner clan are its other vital organs: John Goodman as dad Dan, Laurie Metcalf as ever-present sister Jackie, Lecy Goranson (and later her replacement, Sarah Chalke) as older sister Becky, Sara Gilbert as middle child Darlene, and Michael Fishman as youngest son DJ. (Okay, DJ isn’t exactly vital; let’s call him the show’s spleen.) The manner in which the Conners snipe at and mess with each other has earned Roseanne a reputation for mean-spiritedness, but the family members’ loyalty to and twisted affection for one another are evident throughout the series, particularly in the early seasons. The Conners are very much the sort of people who laugh to keep from crying, and their dark, cynical worldview is both a symptom of and a salve for the indignities they face as a blue-collar, moderately educated family just trying to get by. If that sounds suspiciously like another working-class TV family that debuted around the same time, well, it’s meant to.

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But while other series that earn the “blue-collar” designation typically settle for placing their breadwinners in menial jobs that are nonetheless stable and profitable enough to keep the family-sitcom wheels greased, Roseanne put both Dan and Roseanne through a grind of unrewarding and erratic employment that frequently left them on the cusp of poverty. Things smoothed out for the family, occupation-wise, around the series’ midpoint, as Roseanne opened a restaurant and Dan earned a stable job working for the city, but thanks to the foundation laid in those early seasons, the show never abandoned the idea that its central family could lose it all at any time.

That was true until the infamous final season, one of the most universally despised retoolings in television history. Following its first season spent outside the Nielsen top 10, Roseanne took a major chance in its ninth (and last) season by having the Conners win the lottery. The choice failed miserably because it knocked down those twin pillars that supported the show through seven good-to-great seasons. In addition to taking away the family’s blue-collar bona fides and attendant empathy, by having the family strike it rich, Roseanne messed with Dan and Roseanne’s marriage, sending him off to California for half of the season (due to Goodman’s increasingly busy movie schedule), where he had an affair. Dan and Roseanne’s marriage was always the rock upon which the Conner home was built, and replacing it with a bunch of unearned, unnecessary riches knocked Roseanne off balance and sent it spinning off into the realm of surreal indulgence—that is, until a series finale that, depending on one’s outlook, makes either excuses or amends for the season that preceded it.

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Though it was received tepidly at the time, the Roseanne finale is worth a second look and possible reconsideration for the way it valiantly attempts a major course correction in its final moments. Having Roseanne essentially rescind the ninth season via a voiceover that claims it was all a story she wrote smacks of last-minute whitewashing, but at least it strips away all the fluffy bullshit and returns to the series’ core DNA, reestablishing Dan and Roseanne’s marriage as one of the “till death” variety and calling back to Roseanne’s long-forgotten aspiration to be a writer, something she gave up to help support her family. Though it doesn’t appear on this list, the Roseanne finale says a lot about what the series was and what it became.

These 10 episodes show the steps along the way, the building blocks of one of TV’s all-time great blue-collar sitcoms.

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“Language Lessons” (season one, episode four): This early episode shows the Conner family at home on a weekend, where the most dramatic event is a skirmish between Dan and his know-it-all sister-in-law, Jackie. Roseanne, still very much the “domestic goddess” she was originally conceived as, manages to smooth everything over, but “Language Lessons” is essential for its portrayal of the marriage of Dan and Roseanne. Roseanne is often pegged as being mean-spirited, but in these early episodes, especially, the love between the two characters is readily apparent, as they vacillate between bickering and flirting seemingly with no real conscious distinction between the two. The chemistry between Barr and Goodman was apparent from the start, especially in the scene where Becky and Jackie give them a “lovebirds quiz” from a magazine. In many ways, the low-stakes, hangout vibe of “Language Lessons” is far from what Roseanne would eventually become, but it does a good job establishing the familial love and respect buried underneath all those withering remarks.

“The Little Sister” (season two, episode two): In 1989, an aspiring TV writer named Joss Whedon got his first major gig on Roseanne, where he served as a writer, and then story editor, during the show’s first two seasons. Though only four episodes are credited to him as a writer, any of them would be a contender for this list. (A couple more appear in “the next 10” below.) “The Little Sister” bears Whedon’s stamp in both its witty dialogue—as when Jackie responds to Roseanne’s accusation that she drinks as a coping mechanism with, “Well, have another shot of pancake, Roseanne”—and its unexpected poignancy when Roseanne reveals the real reason behind her objection to her younger sister’s idea of becoming a cop by pretending to pull a gun on her. (This follows a hilarious mock-fight between them that ends with Roseanne pinned to the couch, a fun bit of physical humor that makes the resolution hit even harder.) “The Little Sister” fleshes out the relationship between Roseanne and Jackie and creates a subtle mirror image of them in Becky and Darlene; the push-pull between both pairs of women would continue throughout the series and facilitate many more humorous yet heartfelt stories along the way.

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“Chicken Hearts” (season two, episode 13): Roseanne earned its “blue-collar sitcom” label through its willingness to engage with the uncertainty and indignity that comes with being a workaday wage slave beholden to the whims of bosses who look down their noses at their uneducated, unskilled workforce. Neither Dan nor Roseanne had anything approaching job security for most of the first four seasons, and Roseanne in particular cycled through an impressive number of jobs of varying respectability. Her short-lived gig at a fast-food chicken restaurant may be the most demeaning, and “Chicken Hearts” shows why, pitting Roseanne against a snotty 17-year-old manager who can’t, or won’t, comprehend why a mother of three can’t work weekends. Rather than going all Norma Rae on him—as she does at the end of the first season, where she stages a walkout at the plastics factory—she attempts sucking up to “the little weasel,” which goes against everything she stands for as Lanford’s preeminent smartass. She fails and gets axed, which leads to a wonderful conclusion where the family bands together to humiliate their mother’s tormenter more effectively than he could ever humiliate her.

“An Officer And A Gentleman” (season two, episode 15): In many ways, this is an extremely unrepresentative episode of Roseanne, in that its namesake is almost entirely absent. But it’s notable for being a byproduct of the series’ notorious backstage battles. Following an escalating backstage war with Williams—who left the series after the first season to co-create Home Improvement—Barr boycotted an episode over some dialogue, so this episode was written around her. She appears only in the opening scene, when she leaves the house to visit her parents in Moline for a few days, and in the last scene, when she returns. The rest of the episode is a wonderful showcase for Jackie, who takes over Roseanne’s motherly duties in her absence, and Dan, whose grudging respect for his sister-in-law’s domestic aptitude gives way to actual respect, and their heretofore-antagonistic relationship begins to soften. The episode feints toward suggesting romance between them, but backs away just in time for a very sweet conclusion that strengthens both characters, thankfully without messing with the marriage between Dan and Roseanne.

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“Trick Or Treat” (season three, episode seven): A list of essential Roseanne episodes wouldn’t be complete without mention of at least one of the series’ loving celebrations of Halloween, and truthfully, any of the show’s seven Halloween episodes could have a place on this list. But “Trick Or Treat” is a nice blend of the zany costume and prank antics that would come to define these episodes with the sort of gender politics Barr loved exploring. (The fact that the episode is credited to noted Roseanne antagonist Chuck Lorre adds an interesting wrinkle.) Having Roseanne dress as a man for Halloween, then get stranded at neighborhood bar The Lobo, where she mingles with the ball-scratching, Y-chromosome-possessing clientele, isn’t exactly subtle social commentary—but then again, Roseanne was never exactly subtle when it came to its feminist statements. Couple that with a B-plot where Dan freaks out because DJ wants to be a broom-riding witch for Halloween instead of a wand-wielding warlock, and it could all seem very ham-handed. And it is, a little bit, but it’s also very funny, and the resolution of the Dan-DJ plotline in particular is quite sweet.

“Darlene Fades To Black” (season four, episode four): This episode marks the beginning of younger sister Darlene’s transformation from smartass tomboy kid to the smartass misanthrope she’d remain throughout the rest of the show’s run. Roseanne was often at its best when it explored the relationship between Dan and Roseanne and their two daughters as individuals, rather than as a unit (see also: the excellent “Fathers And Daughters”), and “Darlene Fades To Black” does an admirable job portraying the widening gap between Dan and Darlene, his former sports buddy who now spends all her time moping on the couch. Sara Gilbert was a great young actress from the get-go, with an unusually canny grasp of comic timing, but her growth is apparent in this episode, where she manages to be aloof, vulnerable, and darkly hilarious all at the same time.

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“Terms Of Estrangement Part 2” (season five, episode two): The second half of a season-opening two-parter, “Terms Of Estrangement Part 2” finds Becky returning to the Conner home after she eloped with boyfriend Mark (Glenn Quinn) in “Part 1.” Becky’s surprise marriage at age 17 was one of the better twists Roseanne pulled, and marked a major shift in the series, as the family unit began to expand outside the residents of the Conner home. (Mark and his brother/Darlene’s boyfriend David, played by Johnny Galecki, both became series regulars and in-laws.) But the fallout in the second part is interesting in how it places Roseanne and Dan at odds with each other over something neither of them wants. This might be the Conner family at its very lowest—both Dan and Roseanne are unemployed and deeply in debt following the closure of the motorcycle shop Dan opened in season four—and they work through it with their standard blend of dark, world-weary humor and unconditional love for one another.

“Looking For Loans In All The Wrong Places” (season five, episode six): Starting in the fifth season, Roseanne would transcend the cycle of wage-slave drudgery that defined the early seasons by opening The Lunchbox, the loose-meat restaurant she’d run (along with Jackie and Sandra Bernhard’s Nancy) until the family hit it rich in the final season. But Roseanne’s transition from perpetual employee to business owner didn’t come easy, and “Looking For Loans In All The Wrong Places” shows her humbling herself to achieve a better life for herself and her family. This means buttering her mom up for a loan, a process she bears with gritted teeth as Jackie gnashes and wails at the prospect of having her mom as a business partner. Roseanne and Jackie’s mom Beverly, played by Estelle Parsons, got progressively more cartoonish in her passive-aggressive villainy as the series went on, and this episode is a good barometer of her place in the series at this point: a batty, shrill antagonist to Jackie, whose hatred for her mom borders on pathological, but provides plenty of opportunities for the reliably great Metcalf to have fun with Jackie’s outsized reactions.

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“A Stash From The Past” (season six, episode four): Roseanne and Dan’s nostalgia for their counterculture past is alluded to sporadically throughout the series (and forms the center of the also-great season-two episode “Born To Be Wild”), but “A Stash From The Past” mines it for one of the most purely funny episodes of the show’s run. The second act, in which Dan, Roseanne, and Jackie hole up in the bathroom after smoking some weed they found in the basement (and presumed to be David’s, before realizing it actually belonged to Roseanne long ago), features Goodman and Metcalf at their goofiest and makes its way toward a refreshingly reasonable anti-drug message: Pot seems a lot less fun the older you get and the more responsibilities you take on.

“Lies My Father Told Me” (season six, episode 21): Roseanne frequently waded into “very special episode” territory, particularly in its later seasons, with patchy results, as the series sometimes struggled to reconcile its sardonic worldview with sincere sentiment. “Lies My Father Told Me” engages this disconnect head-on, with Dan getting mad when Roseanne and Darlene react to Dan’s mom being admitted to a mental institution by cracking jokes as a coping mechanism. “Lies My Father Told Me” is a dramatic showcase for Goodman, as Dan is forced to re-evaluate his parents’ troubled marriage through the lens of his mom’s mental illness. It’s not a laugh riot by a long shot, but there is a great runner where Darlene, Becky, David, and Mark team up to make DJ think he’s fallen victim to hereditary insanity. (It also features this list’s sole appearance of Second Becky, Sarah Chalke, whose assumption of the role Lecy Goranson vacated then occasionally reassumed became a running gag on the show.)

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Availability: All nine seasons are available on DVD, and are probably running somewhere in syndication at this very moment. Streaming options are non-existent, though most episodes can be found on, shudder, YouTube.

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Next week: Erik Adams tells you how to get all caught up on 30 Rock—just in time for it to end!

During its original run, Roseanne was a lightning rod for a multitude of reasons—not the least of which was Roseanne Conner’s parenting style. She was loud, crass, and more permissive than a traditional sitcom parent, a far cry from the squeaky-clean, 1950s sensibilities the series frequently mocked. One thing she never made a habit of, though, was spanking her children. And her reasoning was extremely well established: as the characters make clear through multiple seasons, Roseanne and her sister, Jackie, were abused by their father. The one time Roseanne was ever shown spanking one of her children, her outburst ended with a tearful apology—which is why the central plot of Tuesday’s installment of the rebooted series felt misguided at best, and like a forced expression of conservative talking points at worst. It’s further evidence that despite any protestations to the contrary, the new Roseanne has a distinct ideology—which is why it’s struck such a chord with right-leaning viewers.

In the third episode of the rebooted series, Roseanne tangles with her granddaughter Harris, a brat who completely disrespects everyone else in the house. Harris’s mother, Darlene, is hesitant to discipline her daughter, which Roseanne—now a canonical conservative—finds absurd.

“Your generation made everything so P.C.,” Roseanne gripes to Darlene. She’s incensed that Gen X parents won’t spank their kids; instead, she says, “you tell them to go over there and think about what they did wrong. You know what they’re thinking? I can’t believe this loser isn’t spanking me.”

“Let me tell you something,” Roseanne’s husband, Dan, adds. “I wrote a poem for my dad. Then he hit me with a broom. And then he said, ‘This broom will do more for you than any poem.’ And that was the greatest generation.” Eventually, Roseanne shoves her granddaughter’s head in the sink and sprays her with the faucet to teach her a lesson, while Darlene realizes that perhaps she’s given her daughter more leeway than she should have. Throughout all of this, nobody acknowledges the repeated trauma Roseanne and Jackie faced at the hands of their father, who used to discipline them with a belt. And no one mentions the fact that, at least as far as viewers of the original series saw, Roseanne never spanked any of her children, either—save for one incident that ended with an emotional apology from Roseanne to D.J.

It came in Season 6, Episode 11, “The Driver’s Seat,” in which D.J. stole the family car and drove it into a ditch. Wracked with stress from work, Roseanne snaps, yelling at D.J. before spanking him. As D.J. flees to his room, Roseanne is visibly shaken as Dan, who knows about Roseanne and Jackie’s history, tries to assure her that what she just did was “not that big a deal.”

“You’re not helping, Dan,” Jackie says. “You didn’t grow up in our house . . . She was out of control; it was just like Dad!” Later on, she says, “These patterns repeat.”

Roseanne agrees. Once she gathers herself, she sits at the table with D.J. and apologizes: “I’m really sorry that I hit you, D.J. I mean, it was totally wrong. I never should have done that, and I am so mad at myself for doing it.” While it was clear that the series understood the historical difference between spanking and the kind of abuse Roseanne and Jackie endured, it also establishes that the relationship between those two actions is too close for Roseanne—who tearfully vows to D.J. that she will never hit him again, “no matter what you do.”

“Life and Stuff” was the premiere episode of the new ABC series Roseanne, also the 1st episode of the Season 1 of the series. Directed by Ellen Falcon and written by Matt Williams, it originally aired on ABC in the United States on October 18, 1988.

Summary Edit

Roseanne and Dan, parents of a middle-class income family, deal with the trials and tribulations of suburban domesticity. Roseanne must keep her sanity while keeping her family together and dealing with her troubling daughter, Darlene.

Plot Edit

Roseanne tries to keep it together, but becomes stressed as she deals with the problems of her husband and children. As if trying to buy Becky a new backpack after work wasn’t enough, Darlene reluctantly hands over a note from her 6th grade history teacher, Miss Crane. Miss Crane requests that Roseanne meet with her after class to discuss Darlene’s behavior. Forced to argue with her boss and take time off of work, Roseanne heads down to the school only to find out that Darlene has been barking in class.

Returning home after a long day, Roseanne gets dinner ready while questioning Dan’s role as a partner in the family. Dan says he is going to fix the sink, as it is just one of his numerous responsibilities. Roseanne disagrees and says she’s the one who does all the work in the relationship, claiming Dan is just sitting on the throne of some mysterious “magic kingdom”.

Roseanne and Dan continue to argue until Darlene cuts her finger; this leads the two to work together. In doing so, Roseanne and Dan, although it’s never spoken, realize that the only way to battle petty disagreements is to work together and raise the family as a team.

CastEdit

StarringEdit

  • Roseanne Barr as Roseanne Conner
  • John Goodman as Dan Conner
  • Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris
  • Sal Barone as D.J. Conner
  • Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner
  • Lecy Goranson as Becky Conner

Also StarringEdit

  • Natalie West as Crystal Anderson
  • George Clooney as Booker Brooks

GuestsEdit

  • Vonda Green as Charlayne Woodard
  • Anne Faulkner as Sylvia Foster
  • Judy Prescott as Miss Crane
  • Ron Perkins as Pete Wilkins

Trivia Edit

  • In this episode, D.J. is played by Sal Barone. D.J. was recast after the first episode because the producers wanted someone younger to play the role. There were also some problems between Sal Barone and Sara Gilbert on the set.
  • The original opening sequence consisted of the Conner family eating dessert.
  • Laurie Metcalf wore a curly-haired wig in this and a few other early episodes so that she could look more like Roseanne’s actual sister.
  • During the breakfast scene, Roseanne asks Dan to save her the coupon from the paper. He starts tearing it off nice and straight, and the scene cuts to Becky complaining about her bookbag. When the camera goes back to Dan, he’s finishing tearing out the coupon, which is now in a peanut shape.
  • Roseanne does a throwback to this episode in the episode “Into That Good Night”. In that episode, Roseanne is talking to Darlene about raising kids, and she says, “Do you remember when I was called down to your school because you had been barking in class?”
  • This is the only episode of “Roseanne” to date to be published: in Donald McQuade and Robert Atwan, eds., Popular Writing in America: The Interaction of Style and Audience, 5th. edition. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993 (721-35).
  • “Life and Stuff” was also the working title of the series.
  • The pilot episode features a slightly different title sequence with a different Roseanne logo than the one used throughout the rest of the series, the kitchen looks different, and Sal Barone plays D.J. instead of Michael Fishman.
  • At the very end of this (and every) episode, you see the Carsey-Werner logo and copyright. In this episode, it has white text matching the end credits, rather than the orange text used by Carsey-Werner at the time.
  • In the current TV reruns, Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) has been edited out so that it looks like she does not appear in the pilot.

Quotes Edit

Roseanne: You think everything is done by some wonderful wizard, oh, poof, the laundry’s folded, poof, dinner’s on the table. Darlene: Mom, where’s my math book? Roseanne: I sold it! Dan: Are you ever sorry that we got married? Roseanne: Every second of my life. Darlene: I said I’m sorry, what do you want me to do, jump off a bridge? Roseanne: Yes, and take your brother and sister with you. Becky: Our school is having a food drive for poor people. Roseanne: Well, tell ’em to drive some of that food over here. Roseanne : Quick, they’re gone. Change the locks. Becky: All right, I’ll just look like a freak, that’s all. Darlene: What’s new? Becky: Shut up! Roseanne: This is why some animals eat their young. Dan: I do plenty around here. Roseanne: Like what? Dan: I clean the gutters. Roseanne: And? Dan: What’s the point here, Roseanne? Dan: You want me to fix dinner? I’ll fix dinner. I’m fixing dinner! Roseanne: Oh, but honey, you just fixed dinner three years ago! Dan: You don’t think I can cook? I can cook. I’m cooking! Roseanne: Yeah, and I’ll spend the rest of the night washing all the dishes. Dan: Hey, I do the dishes! Roseanne: When?! Dan: Thursday. 6:45 PM. Roseanne: Nineteen Seventy what?! Miss Crane : Your daughter barks. Roseanne: Our whole family barks!


Roseanne: Season One

Life and Stuff • We’re in the Money • D-I-V-O-R-C-E • Language Lessons • Radio Days • Lovers’ Lane • The Memory Game • Here’s to Good Friends • Dan’s Birthday Bash • Saturday • Canoga Time • The Monday Thru Friday Show • Bridge Over Troubled Sonny • Father’s Day • Nightmare on Oak Street • Mall Story • Becky’s Choice • Slice of Life • Workin’ Overtime • Toto, We’re Not in Kansas Anymore • Death and Stuff • Dear Mom and Dad • Let’s Call It Quits

Season Episode Guides

Roseanne: Season 1 • Season 2 • Season 3 • Season 4 • Season 5 • Season 6 • Season 7 • Season 8 • Season 9 • Season 10
The Conners: Season 1 • Season 2

DVDs